This will lead to the tree growing excessively or without control. Maple Dwarf, includes Japanese, Amur, Paperbark, Korean and Pacific Sunset. Thanks for your post conversation about hard pruning J maple. TIP: Kathy advises, "Always start pruning by eliminating dead wood. Carefully follow the natural harmony of the growing pattern. It isn’t really a requirement to prune. Water the tree deeply in the absence of rain. In this section we will briefly see the most important care. Care and location are two important criteria that will make your Japanese maple one of the most beautiful trees of your garden or terrace. The first pruning should be in mid-winter before any warmer weather has even attempted to set in. I have many coral bark trees, sorry I don t the proper name, I use them all for leaf color spring and fall, oh, and for the red trunk during part of the winter. But Japanese maples will create their own naturally beautiful forms with no pruning at all. Here are some essential pruning tips for the Japanese maple: Prune the Japanese maple in nearly every season with a slight preference for winter and generally avoiding spring. While the second is, when carrying out pruning on a Japanese Maple Tree, never attempt to prune more 1/2 of the entire crown of the tree. I recommend pruning Japanese maple trees twice a year. By separating layers, you will create a balanced, visually appealing tree." The winter is so dreary I could care less what my pruned tree looks like, No one sees them. We choose and plant this tree because we’ve seen its delicate form, graceful elegance, and the character of its branches enhancing many established landscapes. Apply the water to the root zone slowly so that the soil can absorb as much water as possible. Pruning Japanese Maples by Michelle Le Strange, UC Master Gardener One of the most favorite trees in the home landscape is the lovely Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum). Err on the side of … Japanese Maple Care. Early February is best in most states; January in southern states’ zones 7-10. Japanese red maple trees will grow a thick crown if properly pruned. This is a good time to do major corrective or training pruning. Learn how to prune Japanese maple trees in this article. Then, move around the tree, and remove small branches that interfere with the layer above them. Also, excessive pruning may lead to the weak growth of the maple. Pruning Tips. Japanese maple care is easy. Caring for Japanese maples in summer is mainly a matter of providing enough water to prevent stress. Pruned in fall after the leaves have dropped or in early spring, before the sap starts to flow (March). Japanese maple naturally takes on magnificent shapes, sometimes layered, weeping or natural. Pruning and caring for Acer palmatum. To reduce the tree’s size, prune in late July; to generate growth and increase size, prune in spring. Stop when the water begins to run off. Step 2 - Raise the Crown. 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